As purveyors of public health and protectors of your customers’ most treasured investment, it makes perfect sense to offer a full and comprehensive add-on service menu that addresses any issue. One new and exciting service to incorporate into your overall proactive and preventative approach is rodent and insect exclusion combined with attic sealing. Th most opportune time to offer and conduct this service is in conjunction with insulation removal and restoration. During the restoration phase of the program, rodents such as mice, squirrels, and rats as well as insects are prevented from re-entering the home through exclusion. Adding the additional benefit of attic sealing is another preventative measure that helps build customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Insulation often conceals cracks, gaps, and voids which offer easy access for vermin, but also allow unconditional air to seep into a home, or conditioned air to “leak” out of the home’s living spaces. While insulation is designed to protect the home’s thermal envelope from heat transfer via conduction and convection, these problems can adversely affect the performance of insulation and drive up energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), homeowners can expect a 30% decrease in their annual heating and cooling costs with proper attic sealing.
Where Do Most Air Leakage Issues Occur?
The U.S. Department of Energy lists the following locations in the average American home where air leakage can occur:
Ceiling, Floors, and Walls – 31%
Ducts – 15%
Fireplace – 14%
Plumbing Penetrations – 13%
Doors – 11%
Windows – 10%
Fans and Vents – 4%
Electrical Outlets – 2%
These percentages indicate the most important areas within the home to target for attic sealing. Pinpointing the exact locations of air loss along with proper sealing techniques can dramatically reduce the home’s energy consumption and waste while boosting the home’s thermal envelope efficiency.
Why Seal the Attic?
Proper sealing in your customer’s attic maximizes energy efficiency in the home. A leaky house causes higher energy bills and allows excess moisture and contaminants to enter the home. The places where air leaks from the attic into a home are often hidden from view. A well-sealed attic reduces the home’e heating and cooling systems cycle time. Eliminating gaps in the home’s thermal envelope reduces the amount of unconditioned air that enters while protecting health, reducing annual heating and cooling costs, increasing comfort, and importantly, assists in pest exclusion efforts.
Any gap or crack in the ceiling is an access point but is also a thermal bypass, attic bypass, or air leak. Caulk or foam is applied to seal these thermal bypasses, including around recessed light fixtures, bathroom fans, open wall cavities, plumbing stacks, and gaps around sheetrock panels. Other items like chimney flues require special methods.